Friday May 21, 2021 at 5:00 pm PDT
Zoom link: https://uci.zoom.us/j/91881771935
The annual concert presenting original new works by PhD students in Integrated Composition, Improvisation, and Technology (ICIT)
Antonin Fajt, Adib Ghorbani, Chris Hadley, Omar Costa Hamido, James Ilgenfritz, Yihui Liu, Teerath Majumder, Atticus Reynolds, and Niloufar Shiri
Creamy - Yihui Liu
Yihui Liu, samples, digital synthesizers, voice and eletric guitar
Creamy is an R&B song with interactive animation programmed in Unity. The song uses a typical pre-chorus form with a subtle glitchy flavor in the drum part. The animated video takes the song’s MIDI track where individual MIDI notes are assigned to different timbres and instrumental layers.
Skin Chorus - Chris Hadley
Chris Hadley, feedback drumset and computer
Contact microphones and tactile transducers are used to bring a material membrane into the signal path, generating acoustic feedback which has particular pitch tendencies defined by physical resonances within the electro-material system. Each drum interacts with one another as they co-create a musical ecosystem alongside a human performer, who suggests subtle shifts in system behavior. This ecosystem expands over the course of the piece, as a computer program allows the drums to sing along with past selves.
Second Cornerstone - Omar Costa Hamido
Niloufar Shiri, kamâncheh
Omar Costa Hamido, music stands
"This is the second cornerstone of quantum mechanics, its hardest key: the relational aspect of things. Electrons don’t always exist. They exist when they interact." (in Reality is Not What it Seems, by Carlo Rovelli)
This is an excerpt of the upcoming feature film The Gedanken Room (2021) directed by Omar Costa Hamido, with cinematography by Grant Speich, and audio engineering by G. Blake Harrison-Lane.
Repeat After Me - Teerath Majumder
Teerath Majumder, electronics
Repeat After Me is a rearrangement of a track created for a dance piece that highlights how life and work have been moving forward at a time when everything seems to have come to a halt. The contrast between movement and stasis has been explored through driving beats that keep repeating.
crackedplanewindows - Atticus Reynolds
Atticus Reynolds, drums, piano
2 thin panes…. wind pulls as tiny cracks snake along the outside edge, like fractal snowflakes fighting their way in out of the cold.
What would happen if you were to sit,
sit still with the strap and the 2nd pane holding you steady…
Steady as steady can be elevated in space,
Thousands of feet up
and present as distance can bring.
I Saw Love - James Ilgenfritz
James Ilgenfritz, solo contrabass with electronics
My first work for solo contrabass and fixed media, I Saw Love (2021) is a reflection on the iconic image of the Black Power salute at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City. I’ve thought often about this image, admiring the two American athletes John Carlos and Tommie Smith, while also wondering about the third man– white Australian Peter Norman. Carlos and Smith joined in a Black Power salute on the Olympic dais during the playing of "The Star-Spangled Banner." Norman wore a badge of the Olympic Project for Human Rights in support of the two American athletes. Recalling the occasion, John Carlos said he expected to see fear in Norman's eyes when he and Smith explained their intentions. On the contrary, he said “I saw love.” All three men suffered significant backlash upon returning to their homeland, including death threats and severe reversals in career prospects. In a 2011 speech to the University of Guelph, Akaash Maharaj, a member of the Canadian Olympic Committee and head of Canada's Olympic equestrian team, said, "In that moment, Tommie Smith, Peter Norman, and John Carlos became the living embodiments of Olympic idealism. Ever since, they have been inspirations to generations of athletes like myself, who can only aspire to their example of putting principle before personal interest. It was their misfortune to be far greater human beings than the leaders of the IOC of the day.” In 2005, San Jose State University honored former students Smith and Carlos with a 22-foot high statue. Silver medalist Peter Norman’s position is vacant at his request: so viewers can stand in his place. There is a plaque in the empty spot inviting those to "Take a Stand."
What Happened in Panop? - Adib Ghorbani
Adib Ghorbani, voice, MUGIC®, electronics, piano
Panopticon is a type of architecture and a system of control that is designed to observe and punish prisoners. In a panopticon prison, the inmates never know when they are being watched. With a certain observation technique, the prisoners are forced to act like they are always being watched. The scene that you are about to hear and see is an excerpt of my Ph.D. dissertation named Silent Music/Musical Mime. This scene along with six others depicts an original story describing the life of a censored artist who is writing a piece about a prison called Panop. Silent Music is a multidisciplinary performance integrating mime, music, and motion sensor technologies. This project is based on the concept of censorship, silence, and silencing. For this scene, I wear hand-worn MUGIC® motion sensors. MUGIC® tracks the movements of my hand and generates data; the resulting data produces the required music in real-time.
Underneath the Waves - Antonín Fajt, w/Erica Newton
Antonín Fajt, keyboard, rhodes
Erica Newton, overhead projector
This piece is an improvised collaboration with visual artist and friend Erica Newton. It draws on our parallel work with long-form structure building and erasing, me with the synthesizer and the inside of a rhodes piano, and Erica with an analog overhead projector. I think we resonate around the integration of landscape art / environmental sound, and real-time composition. This session was recorded live in my basement in upstate New York, but the music was completely replaced and re-recorded underneath the video. We were able to respond to each other and explore the parallels as the piece unfolded. In both mediums, there is a presence of visual / sonic artifacts that have a life of their own, and call for deep listening / watching; a balance of action and letting go.
Sultaniyegah Sirto - Niloufar Shiri
Niloufar Shiri, kamâncheh
Jiryis Ballan, buzuq
We arranged the first movement of Sultaniyegah Sirto composed by Sadi Isilay (1899-1969) for kamâncheh and buzuq.
Antonín Fajt is a pianist-composer-improvisor from the Czech Republic, based in the US. Drawing on his heritage, his work explores rhythmic and melodic nuances in folk songs, interpreting and translating them into an improvisational language informed by classical composition, jazz, and free improvisation. Much of his musical output materializes in live solo and collaborative performances. He studied composition at Bard College, BA '14, primarily with the composer Joan Tower. He’s currently pursuing his PhD in Integrative Composition, Improvisation and Technology at UC Irvine. His thesis explores the the topic of ghost melodies and ghost structures within the three musical practices.
Adib Ghorbani is an Iranian multi-disciplinary artist who integrates theater, music, and new technologies. Through the combination of physical theater, live music performance, and motion sensor technologies, he has shaped his unique style called Silent Music or Electro-musical Mime. Adib is also a pianist and a composer; his works span a wide variety of genres such as contemporary music, classical music, opera, experimental music, film music, and free improvisation. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the ICIT program (Integrated Composition, Improvisation, and Technology) at UC Irvine.
Chris Hadley is a performer, composer, and sound artist working with percussion and electronics. He holds degrees in percussion performance from Southern Methodist University and Stony Brook University, where he focused on new music performance and improvisation. His work incorporates handmade instruments which explore the negotiation between instrument interfaces and the body as a critical design practice.
As a percussionist/electronicist, Chris has performed and collaborated with So Percussion, Matmos, members of Room Full of Teeth, Margaret Schedel, Michelle Lou, and Ray Anderson. In 2017 he helped to develop new analog synthesizer circuits for the new media artist duo LoVid. In 2018, he attended the Summer Institute for Contemporary Performance Practice at the New England Conservatory, where he taught a seminar on handmade electronic instruments and presented work for a custom instrument of his own.
Omar Costa Hamido is a performer, composer, and technologist, working primarily in multimedia and improvisation. In 2013, he earned his Master’s degree in Music Theory and Composition at the Escola Superior de Música, Artes e Espectáculo (ESMAE-IPP Portugal) where he conducted research on the relations between music and painting, and compositional processes. He is currently pursuing his PhD in Integrated Composition, Improvisation and Technology (ICIT) at the University of California, Irvine, where his main research is on Quantum Computing and Music Composition. Recently he has won several relevant awards: Fulbright Exchange Visitor, Beall Center for Art+Technology – 1st Prize Student Artwork, IBM Qiskit Camp Europe – Community Choice Award.
Composer and bassist James Ilgenfritz is recognized in The New Yorker for his “characteristic magnanimity” and his “invaluable contributions to New York’s new-music community.” James has performed around the US, Europe, and in Asia with his bands Hypercolor and MiND GAMeS. In 2019 he released You Scream A Rapid Language – an album of recent chamber music, which was noted in The Wire for its "glint of mischief" and ability to "foreground the performative and gestural elements of music making." This album of chamber works follows his previous two solo contrabass albums Origami Cosmos (2017) and Compositions (Braxton) 2011 – which featured music by Annie Gosfield, Miya Masaoka, Elliott Sharp, JG Thirlwell, and Anthony Braxton. James presented his music in residencies at John Zorn’s The Stone in 2015 and 2018, and in 2011 he was Artist In Residence at ISSUE Project Room. He holds degrees from University of Michigan and University of California San Diego. James began New York’s first Suzuki Bass program at Brooklyn Conservatory of Music in 2011, and continued there until 2019, when he returned to California to pursue his PhD at University of California Irvine.
Yihui Liu is a composer, singer-songwriter, music producer, and keyboardist. Her music creativity embraces long-standing traditions and contemporary practices, merges technical skills and aesthetic purposes, celebrates commercial and artistic meanings in music, values conventional techniques and new technologies, and encompasses digital production and live performance. She evaluates cross-style awareness in music as well as cross-disciplinary collaborations that bridges music with other fields. Yihui believes the beauty of multitudes in music in the way she creates, researches, and teaches music.
Teerath Majumder is a Bangladeshi composer with training in Hindustani and Western classical music. In his works, he utilizes a hybrid of acoustic and electronic processes that may lead to a gradual and organized metamorphosis of sounds or aggressive and chaotic outbursts. He believes art has a way of inducing a visceral reaction to matters that don’t often shake us in reality. Throughout his career, Teerath has sought and worked in various interdisciplinary projects. His compositions for dance, theatre, and films comprise a significant portion of his oeuvre.
Atticus Reynolds is a drummer, composer, and educator, hailing from Chapel Hill, North Carolina and currently living in Los Angeles, California. He received his Bachelors of Music degree at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he was a Kenan Music Scholar. Atticus has worked at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City and studied with renowned artists, including Kenny Washington and Joe Farnsworth in New York, and received extensive classical snare drum and Latin percussion training with composer-performer, Dr. Juan Alamo. In 2017, he was selected to participate in the Banff International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music in Canada, directed by Vijay Iyer. His research and musical interests are particularly focused on Afro-Latin religious music as well as contemporary composition in concert and improvised settings. Atticus has spent extensive time in Puerto Rico studying folkloric Afro-Puerto Rican music as well as Batá drumming in the Lucumí tradition in North Carolina and California.
Niloufar Shiri (b.1992), composer, Kamancheh player, and improviser is a graduate of the Tehran Music Conservatory where she closely worked with Maestro Saeed Farajpouri on Kamancheh Performance. Niloufar received her bachelor with honor in composition from the University of California, San Diego where she studied composition with Professors Lei Liang, Katherina Rosenberger, and improvisation with Mark Dresser. In conjunction with her studies at UC San Diego, she has also been directly studying and researching Persian Classical Music with Maestro Hossein Omoumi, a Professor at the Claire Trevor School of the Arts at UC Irvine since 2010. In 2012, the research received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Currently, she is pursuing her Ph.D. in integrated composition, Improvisation, and Technology (ICIT) at University of California, Irvine where she has been awarded provost Ph.D. fellowship from the Claire Trevor School of the Arts as well as a UC Irvine Diversity Recruitment Fellowship.
Prof. Mari Kimura, faculty supervisor
Prof. Christopher Dobrian, series producer
Steven Lewis, technical director
Chris Hadley, program curator
Teerath Majumder, program webmaster